Sunday, April 09, 2006
Not attractive, are they? These knobbly little wonders are Jerusalem artichokes - and I am in the process of transforming them into soup. Ever since I tasted a bowl of heaven in the form of "Jerusalem artichoke soup with white truffle oil" at a restaurant in Kew - a little village east of Melbourne - many years ago while I was working at kbr design, I have kept the recipe idea tucked away at the back of my brain for future use.
The other day, serrendipitously, I came across some reduced packs of them at Waitrose - 20p for 500grams, which is a bargain. That no one wanted them possibly has something to do with the fact that people will no longer buy ugly fruit/veg - for instance, there is a delicious variety of nectarine which used to be grown here, called the "Fantasia", but because it is a funny yellow colour with spots, no one will buy them. We have become so used to perfect, regularly-shaped, blemish-free produce that anything less will be rejected - what is this world coming to?
The National Trust is fighting back with an "Ugly Veg" competition. I do have a soft spot for these "runts" - my Dad has been secretly backing ugly veg for years. Whenever he spotted an odd or slightly rude shaped vegetable, he would always make a point of buying it and giving it pride of place on the kitchen window sill. Lovers of two-legged carrots and bum-shaped apples, unite!